January 2012 - Posts - Thrifty Living Today
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Thrifty Living Today

January 2012 - Posts

  • Spending or Saving? You Make the Choice

    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." - Will Smith (from "Wise Bread" - Glen Stansberry)


    Welcome to Thrifty Living Today. A special way of life for the Twenty-first Century. 


    My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host.


    I really like the quote above. It reminds me that there are a lot of ways to spend money. One day you have it. The next day you might not. A lot depends on what is important to you, spending or saving.


    One of the hallmarks of a Thrift centered life is saving. Usually this refers to money, but it can also apply to keeping and maintaining other things of value.


    For simplicity, lets stick with money. You acquire it somehow, either by earning, selling, finding, or receiving it as a gift.


    Once you own money, you have to decide what to do with it. You may:


    • place it in a savings account
    • create an emergency account
    • invest it
    • buy something: property, an education for yourself or another
    • loan it
    • give it to another person


    The list goes on and on.


    When we think of the word Thrift most of us first think about buying for less by using coupons, watching for items on sale, going to second hand sales, or anything we can think of that will reduce the cost of an item.


    Thrift is like a two sided coin


    There is another side to Thrift. And, that is to save money in the first place.


    People forget that by saving, they are improving their future, and they are giving a gift to themselves.


    Why save


    Actually there are a lot of reasons. Planned saving can lead to a more disciplined  life. It offers a fund to handle unforeseen events and emergencies. It is there for purchase when a new appliance or piece of household furniture is suddenly needed. It also allows people to select what they want to do with the money they have saved.


    My favorite reason for saving is to fund something I really want to do. This usually has something to do with travel. My husband says I was born with "roller skates on my feet." I seem to be happiest when in motion, when meeting the citizens of the earth.


    Don't think of Thrift as some sort of behavior that prevents having fun. Actually, it leads to a more balanced and happy life. If you fund your activities in advance rather than by credit card you will have a much better time.


    What does it take to save


    Basically it takes planning, time, and discipline to put money into savings.  It isn't easy and you may have to try different strategies.


    Try looking at what you are currently buying. Keep track, for one day, what you spend. Try using cash. Count you money when you start out and when you return home. What's the verdict?


    Next, think about what you could change. Did you really need the extra special coffee or lunch you bought?


    Could you have brought anything from home? Would you feel out of place bringing a lunch?


    Remember the Will Smith quote above at the top of this post. Don't spend money to impress or fit in with others.


    I have a question. What's more important, the opinion of others or your own dreams? To make a dream happen, you have to take the first step.


    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits. 

  • Time: the invisable resource

    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
    Carl Sandburg     
    Welcome to Thrifty Living Today. A special way of life for the Twenty-first Century. 

    My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host.
    What did you do today? A simple question, isn't it? But I am serious. What did you do today? Was your time occupied by a rushed breakfast, travel to work, a day spent doing what you have been trained to do? Was this followed by travel home and, at last, resting on a chair and trying to clear your head?
    Do you ever think about how you spend your time and whether there are other opportunities or strategies out there?
    Time is one of your most important resources
    Brainy Quote, a web site, lists thoughtful quotes on this topic. Let's explore some of them.
    Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.
    Roger Babson
    Who decides if someone is wasting time? Hopefully it is the person involved and not a bystander. Everyone needs time for rest and contemplation.

    Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine.

    Friedrich Schiller
    Life is full of opportunities and people are presented with a lot of choices. We think, we consider, then decide how to proceed.
    Sometimes this works out well. At other times, in retrospect, we wish we had gone another direction. 

    Lost time is never found again.
    Benjamin Franklin 

    What opportunities might we have had if we followed a different path. We hear comments, "if only I had studied more while in school," "if only I had moved to another place," "if only I had saved more money, used my credit card less, and worked more, I would be in a different situation today."

    Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.
    Charles Caleb Colton
    It is amazing what can be done. A young mother can take a look at her cupboards and refrigerator and plan frugal meals. A homeowner with a lawn can turn on the sprinkler, keeping the grass in good condition.
    Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
    William Gibson 
    As we grow older, we tend to reflect on who we are and what we have done. We remember those who helped us and those who did not. Did we appreciate this at the time? Did we thank them?
    As a young married person with a small income, I thought we needed every dollar we made. I had an Aunt who felt a need to educate me on the finer points of saving and how a particular fund worked. In the end, to stop her telephone calls, I looked into it and signed up. Years later, I took out money from this fund for the down payment on our house. Did I ever thank her? I sincerely hope so. I honestly can't remember.

    Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.
    Michael LeBoeuf
    Why am I writing about time?  It is just this. I truly feel it is a gift we can use it to our advantage  
    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits. 
  • Call to Action: Tell a Friend About Thrift

    Do you believe that Thrift is helpful for everyone? Do you use it in their your life?
    Does your family (personal or extended) understand and, hopefully support you in your choice of this lifestyle?
    Welcome to Thrifty Living Today. A special way of life for the Twenty-first Century. 

    My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host.
    I honestly believe that the majority of people, living in the USA do not know what Thrift is and that they could benefit by using Thrift strategies in their daily lives.
    A while ago I started looking around at family, friends, and neighbors. I came to the conclusion that people were hurting. Prices had gone up, job availability had gone down. Some people had lost their jobs, had their hours cut, or were having trouble keeping their families insured. I asked myself "what would happen if we shared Thrift with others who never had an opportunity to learn about the strategies and benefits?"
    I started opening up to people and telling them that I believed in Thrift and that I thought it was helpful. I got some strange looks and frequent questions. People would ask "what is Thrift?" And, "are you talking about a Thrift shop?" Others wanted to know if it had "something to do with renting a car?"
    It was pretty obvious that people in my circle, knew very little and seldom practiced the strategies of Thrift.
    I tried to help by gathering people together, speaking, and writing about Thrift, frugal living and strategies which might lead to a better life. This was marginally successful but I could only reach a small audience. 
    I started wondering why we seldom broach this subject in public.
    Why don't people speak to others about Thrift?
    Why don't we hear more about this in conversation and in the media? Why does a lifestyle practiced for thousands of years and heralded by Benjamin Franklin, one of our most famous statesmen, fail to receive the acclaim it is justly due?
    Why don't people promote it, celebrate it and educate others in a lifestyle that they truly believe will help people?
    If you appreciate and practice Thrift strategies, if you have benefited from this style of life, consider telling a friend.
    You might help that person to view things in a new way. Think about it. Among other things, you could tell them about:
    • the value of an emergency fund, and how the money can help buy something when it is suddenly needed, or when it is needed for a special life experience
    • the value of looking at needs versus wants
    • thoughtful consideration of a major appliance or piece of furniture before buying
    Just by mentioning Thrift, you might be able to help another person. At the very least, you might plant a thought that will encourage that person to learn more.
    In other words, if you live it, support it. Share it with a friend.   
    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits. 
  • Cutting Down on Your Entertainment Budget

    Are you the type who has to see the latest movies, attend lots of professional or amateur sporting events, or experience cultural offerings? Do you travel for pleasure? In other words, do you spend money on entertainment?
    Welcome to Thrifty Living Today. A special way of life for the Twenty-first Century. 

    My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host.
    I don't mean to criticize, I just want to wake you up to the fact that recreation and diversion can cost a lot of money, your money. 
    I have a theory that people, searching for entertainment, spend money for a lot of reasons. They do so to:
    • have a family vacation
    • keep up with friends
    • impress others
    • find out what's "out there"
    • entertain a client
    • say they went somewhere
    • escape cold in the winter
    • escape heat in the summer
    Or, they may be bored out of their minds. 
    I would like to respectfully suggest that you spend a few minutes thinking before you spend money on entertaining yourself and others.
    Are you a single, living alone? Do you have a spouse or partner? How about children? 
    Spend a few minutes by yourself or with the important people in your life. Talk to each other. Try to find activities that appeal to you. It may surprise you to learn that some of the best times have been simple and low cost.
    Take a look at your habits. Do you go out to an expensive restaurant on a routine basis? Do you vacation in a warmer climate in the winter? Do you find it necessary to buy the latest book or watch the newest movie?
    What can you do? How about learning to cook? If you have one, you could include the whole family. Let the children participate in selection of food and include them in a trip to the grocery store. Yes, this can be a hassle, but it will turn into a learning experience for all of you, and you might actually have fun. 
    The trip to a warmer climate sounds fantastic. But, it is not always as wonderful as you expect. For example, you have to travel there. Will you drive, hop a plane, take a train, or ride a bus? (People do all of these.) Will you need to rent a car? Where will you stay? What will you do once you get there? Lots of questions don't you think? With the biggest of all being "is it worth it?"
    How current do you really want to be? Is it important that you read (or scan) the latest book? Do you have to buy it new? And, why do you need to catch the latest film? Is this for image, or an aura of being informed?
    Instead, take a little trip to the Library, pull some magazines off the rack (the latest ones). Read and learn what's going on in the world around you. Determine how you feel about it and expound to your heart's content to anyone who will listen.
    My other suggestion is that you learn about your community.
    I don't care where you live. Someone, someplace out there, is as bored as you. People are working to make the rural area, village, town, or city, a better place to live. Open your eyes. What could you do with your time to:
    • find a place of worship
    • learn about local government
    • visit natural areas: bodies of water, mountains, deserts 
    • meet people
    • explore resources such as libraries
    • learn about local celebrations or events and attend one 
    • determine what district schools or colleges are offering in the way of entertainment or classes
    Our economy has experienced severe change. Your life may no longer be what it was a year ago.This is not the time to roll over and accept defeat. See what you can do about your own opportunities. You may have to change a bit on your activities and entertainment. But you will never know if you can, unless you try. 
    Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, nurse, writer, and thrift advocate. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits. 
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